Vignettes Regarding the Artwork of Brendon Kotes
The Frey family moved in the subsequent autumn. The desks disappeared, the footpath received a layer of sod and a fence rocked the world of every youngster who had ever taken that short cut through to the park. A new path formed within the forest within the first months of next spring and the kickball pickup games moved to the cul-de-sac two streets over.
But it was before that when Brendon first met Robbie.
Down at the docks, where a cheap restaurant smelled of blue crab and old bay and the brine made the air taste salty, Brendon would take a stub of a pencil and work on adding depth and light to waves with only black and white. Both parents worked now and Casey played recs soccer near all year round so there were days of solitude filled with nothing but the lapping of waves, tinging of the metal flagpoles and the scratching of his pencil.
“What are you doing?”
Brendon looked up into pale brown eyes and a paler face. The expression there he attributed to confidence, though he would later come to realize was merely competence and bravery mixing in a pleasant, but not outstanding, way.
The other boy sat down beside him and propped his chin in his hand. “I’ve seen you before. You drew that picture of the school that won the yearbook award last year. The one hanging in the display case.”
“That’s me,” mumbled Brendon, and he bent harder over his sketchbook.
“You’re an artist.”
“I want to be.”
“Nah. You are. Mom says you are what you are, you are what you do. You draw, so you’re an artist.”
Brendon paused and gave the boy a considering look. “My mom says I could be an artist one day.”
The boy smiled. “Do you draw comic book heroes?”
He didn’t. He shrugged.
“I’d love to see them if you do.”
And so Brendon went home, mind ablaze with the word artist, and set to work on using his newfound facial nuance behind masks of spandex.